Exploring Gusev Crater with Spirit: Review of science objectives and testable hypotheses

Nathalie A. Cabrol, Edmond A. Grin, Michael H. Carr, Brad Sutter, Jeffrey M. Moore, Jack D. Farmer, Ronald Greeley, Ruslan O. Kuzmin, David J. DesMarais, Marc G. Kramer, Horton Newsom, Charles Barber, Ivan Thorsos, Kenneth L. Tanaka, Nadine Barlow, David A. Fike, Mary L. Urquhart, Brian Grigsby, Frederick D. Grant, Olivier de Goursac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gusev Crater was selected as the landing site for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit mission. Located at the outlet of Ma'adim Vallis and 250 km south of the volcano Apollinaris Patera, Gusev is an outstanding site to achieve the goals of the MER mission. The crater could have collected sediments from a variety of sources during its 3.9 Ga history, including fluvial, lacustrine, volcanic, glacial, impact, regional and local aeolian, and global air falls. It is a unique site to investigate the past history of water on Mars, climate and geological changes, and the potential habitability of the planet, which are central science objectives of the MER mission. Because of its complex history and potential diversity, Gusev will allow the testing of a large spectrum of hypotheses with the complete suite of MER instruments. Evidence consistent with long-lived lake episodes exist in the landing ellipse area. They might offer a unique opportunity to study, for the first time, Martian aqueous sediments and minerals formed in situ in their geological context. We review the geological history and diversity of the landing site, the science hypotheses that can be tested during the MER mission, and the relevance of Gusev to the MER mission objectives and payload.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
Volume108
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 25 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Mars exploration
craters
crater
Mars
history
Landing
histories
landing sites
sediments
volcanoes
Sediments
habitability
Volcanoes
water
landing
ellipses
climate change
Planets
outlets
minerals

Keywords

  • Apollinaris Patera
  • Gusev
  • Lake
  • Spirit rover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Cabrol, N. A., Grin, E. A., Carr, M. H., Sutter, B., Moore, J. M., Farmer, J. D., ... de Goursac, O. (2003). Exploring Gusev Crater with Spirit: Review of science objectives and testable hypotheses. Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, 108(12).

Exploring Gusev Crater with Spirit : Review of science objectives and testable hypotheses. / Cabrol, Nathalie A.; Grin, Edmond A.; Carr, Michael H.; Sutter, Brad; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Farmer, Jack D.; Greeley, Ronald; Kuzmin, Ruslan O.; DesMarais, David J.; Kramer, Marc G.; Newsom, Horton; Barber, Charles; Thorsos, Ivan; Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Barlow, Nadine; Fike, David A.; Urquhart, Mary L.; Grigsby, Brian; Grant, Frederick D.; de Goursac, Olivier.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, Vol. 108, No. 12, 25.12.2003.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cabrol, NA, Grin, EA, Carr, MH, Sutter, B, Moore, JM, Farmer, JD, Greeley, R, Kuzmin, RO, DesMarais, DJ, Kramer, MG, Newsom, H, Barber, C, Thorsos, I, Tanaka, KL, Barlow, N, Fike, DA, Urquhart, ML, Grigsby, B, Grant, FD & de Goursac, O 2003, 'Exploring Gusev Crater with Spirit: Review of science objectives and testable hypotheses', Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, vol. 108, no. 12.
Cabrol NA, Grin EA, Carr MH, Sutter B, Moore JM, Farmer JD et al. Exploring Gusev Crater with Spirit: Review of science objectives and testable hypotheses. Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets. 2003 Dec 25;108(12).
Cabrol, Nathalie A. ; Grin, Edmond A. ; Carr, Michael H. ; Sutter, Brad ; Moore, Jeffrey M. ; Farmer, Jack D. ; Greeley, Ronald ; Kuzmin, Ruslan O. ; DesMarais, David J. ; Kramer, Marc G. ; Newsom, Horton ; Barber, Charles ; Thorsos, Ivan ; Tanaka, Kenneth L. ; Barlow, Nadine ; Fike, David A. ; Urquhart, Mary L. ; Grigsby, Brian ; Grant, Frederick D. ; de Goursac, Olivier. / Exploring Gusev Crater with Spirit : Review of science objectives and testable hypotheses. In: Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets. 2003 ; Vol. 108, No. 12.
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